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Sometimes it feels as if there’s no game more dangerous than biking in the rain with glasses. Wet glasses mean low visibility as raindrops plop onto your lenses, but taking off the glasses means not seeing the road, especially if you wear corrective glasses. What’s a cyclist to do?
In terms of solutions for cycling in the rain with glasses, some cyclists recommend cycling caps that go under your bike helmet, while others recommend treating your cycling glasses with a hydrophobic coating.
However, most of these solutions work for light drizzles, not heavy rain.
Here’s what you need to know about cycling through the rain with glasses:
A cycling cap is a close-fitting cotton cap with a short, downward-pointing brim. It used to be an essential part of most road cyclist’s gear back in the day, but after helmets became mandatory, they fell out of style.
Cycling caps have the advantage over helmets because the brim helps protect your eyes from environmental conditions such as rain or snow in cold weather, which might give you a better shot at maintaining dry glasses. However, wearing a bike helmet is important for safety. Put a close-fitting cycling cap under your helmet to get the best of both worlds.
The ROCKBRO’s Men’s Cycling Cap has a flippable, extended visor that can potentially help keep rain off your glasses, and it’s known to fit well under a helmet:
The brim of the cycling cap can protect your glasses from drizzle, but they don’t do much when cycling in the rain with glasses if there’s a heavy downpour.
If you don’t want to try a cycling cap, getting a visor that attaches to your helmet is another option. Even if it doesn’t keep the rain off your glasses, a helmet-with-visor combo prevents rain from washing sweat into your eyes.
The TeamObsidian Airflow Helmet pairs with a removable visor:
A hydrophobic coating is a chemical coating on your lenses that repels moisture. It can help prevent the fogging and blurring of your lenses. Many sports glasses, such as Oakley brand lenses, come with this coating included.
If you wear prescription glasses, you can get special sports glasses at your optician and request this special coating. Hydrophobic-coated glasses can help maintain your visibility even during rain or fog.
Some people try using Rain-X, but this coating is for regular glass, not glass lenses that go close to your eyes. If you want to try a rain-repellent coating, go to an optician to get one specifically for your glasses.
The trouble with these coatings is that they wear off pretty quickly. Most manufacturers say they last for two to eight months, which really isn’t that long. For many cyclists, the trouble of reapplying the coating is not worth it.
What About Downpours?
Many of these solutions only work for light drizzles, not heavy rain. If you’re cycling through a heavy downpour, you’re going to have to accept that your visibility will be much worse and adjust your ride accordingly. Go slower and pay more attention to the road.
Most riders recommend removing your pair of glasses if the rain is very heavy, but that’s not possible if you wear corrective glasses. The best thing to do during a downpour is to stop every so often and wipe your glasses. A chamois cloth or even your finger helps clean off some of the water droplets. Even if you can’t wipe off all of the rain, blurring out raindrops on glasses is a big help.
You have a few options for keeping rain off your glasses, but most of these are not perfect. You may just have to adjust your ride plans based on the weather conditions.